In Baghdad, fruit prices have risen by about a quarter because of fewer shipments from Syria and Jordan. (AP Photo/ Karim Kadim)
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Fighting in Iraq's western Anbar province, now in its fifth month, appears to have bogged down, with government forces unable to drive out Islamic militants who took over one of the area's main cities.The main highways linking Baghdad and other parts of Iraq to Syria and Jordan run through it.Now people avoid the highway, which runs near the flashpoint Anbar cities of Fallujah and Anbar, fearing militant checkpoints or clashes. So his firm is down to one trip every other day, and profits have plunged by 90 percent, he said."Business was good before Anbar crisis," said Abu Abdullah, who spoke on condition he be identified only by his nickname for security reasons. Now he's in the northern city of Kirkuk with his eight-member family, hoping for calm to return. Anbar, Iraq's largest province, is the heartland of Iraq's Sunni minority and was the birthplace of insurgency that arose after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated regime and brought the long-oppressed majority Shiites to power.Truck driver Ali Mansour Hussein used to transport vegetables, fruits and meat from Jordan and Syria down the Anbar highways, around a two-day trip that earned him slightly over 1 million Iraqi dinars (around $900) for each shipment.
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